Southampton pays out nothing for pothole damage but Hampshire pays £250k

Daily Echo: City's pothole compensation bill totals zero City's pothole compensation bill totals zero

NOT a penny of Southampton taxpayers’ cash was paid out for compensation claims over potholes last year, the Daily Echo can reveal.

The drop in successful compensation claims made against the city council for damage and injuries caused by holes in the roads has been hailed as proof the state of the highways is improving.

It comes as Hampshire County Council said it had to hand over nearly £250,000 to motorists in 12 months because of problems caused by potholes – a four-fold increase in three years.

With freezing temperatures expected to continue to hit the south this week, authorities are bracing themselves for more holes appearing as ice cracks road surfaces.

Hampshire County Council paid out £233,348 during the 2011/12 financial year, compared to around £111,000 in 2009/10 and just £60,000 in 2008/9.

Southampton City Council paid £113,598 for 37 claims in 2008/09 and £137,132 for 16 claims settled in 2010/11.

The Government last month announced it is giving Hampshire an extra £6.1m over the next two financial years for essential work to renew and repair roads, while Southampton will receive £479,000.

The cash is on top of existing funding for highways maintenance, and authorities will be required to publish details of what it has been spent on.

Councils say it costs an average of £45 to repair one square metre of road damaged by potholes.

Contract In 2010, Southampton City Council signed a £100m ten-year contract with the country’s largest construction firm, Balfour Beatty, to look after all highways maintenance.

Civic chiefs said the deal – the biggest it has ever signed – has led to a reduction in the number of potholes. Although it has three claims still being processed, the council didn’t pay out on any pothole-related dispute in 2012.

City roads boss Councillor Asa Thorpe urged anyone who spots a pothole to report it to Actionline on 0800 519 191. He said: “The council and its partner Balfour Beatty Living Places are working hard to reduce the number of potholes on the city’s roads.

“This has not been helped by the very severe wet weather in recent months. However, in the last year, by detecting and repairing potholes to our published standards, we have been able to drastically reduce the payment of compensation to third parties.”

Hampshire’s transport chief, Councillor Mel Kendal, said: “Highways maintenance is a top priority for the county council, and we spend nearly £60m per annum on general highways maintenance.

“In the past year alone, we have strengthened a total of more than 150 miles of roads and footways, making them more resilient and better able to withstand the effects of extremes in weather conditions and ever increasing traffic, by which I mean all forms of traffic – |footfall, cycling and vehicular.”

An AA spokes-man said he was not surprised Hampshire had been forced to pay out more than Southampton because of the geography of the two areas.

And while he is pleased to see councils accept when they are at fault, he said he would rather see the problem solved before damage was caused.

The motoring organisation’s spokesman said: “It’s always a bit of a double-edged sword. The fact that councils cough up is a good thing because it means they’re not fighting claims, but it’s also a bad thing because it means they’ve got a problem.”

Comments (13)

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9:13am Tue 15 Jan 13

oldboy67 says...

bb does a very good job and informs the street about whats going on, but when are they going to put the white lines back in peartree ave that they went over about 9 months a go
bb does a very good job and informs the street about whats going on, but when are they going to put the white lines back in peartree ave that they went over about 9 months a go oldboy67
  • Score: 0

9:53am Tue 15 Jan 13

Niel says...

What a load of old test-tickles. To successfully claim YOU have to prove SCC/BB were already aware of the pothole before YOU suffered the loss/damage.

You might be lucky and find that it had already been reported by a n other using fixmystreet, but if you'd reported it, then later had a problem, they'll claim you should have been aware of the defect already and avoided it!

Some potholes no longer qualify as potholes, surface area and depth are both factors. Then there's the 'cost-saving' delaying tactics, one report I submitted 16 months ago is still unrepaired.
Also there's the carp (SP!) 'top-dressing' that's been applied that creates other dangers, the A335 to J5 out of the city now has dangerous ridges that make a mono-tracked vehicle unstable, not a problem according to SCC, not in accordance with E.U. guidance.

The H.A. are just as bad by allowing the longitudinal, not transverse as their own standard states, milling of the M27's concrete section between J5 and J7...
What a load of old test-tickles. To successfully claim YOU have to prove SCC/BB were already aware of the pothole before YOU suffered the loss/damage. You might be lucky and find that it had already been reported by a n other using fixmystreet, but if you'd reported it, then later had a problem, they'll claim you should have been aware of the defect already and avoided it! Some potholes no longer qualify as potholes, surface area and depth are both factors. Then there's the 'cost-saving' delaying tactics, one report I submitted 16 months ago is still unrepaired. Also there's the carp (SP!) 'top-dressing' that's been applied that creates other dangers, the A335 to J5 out of the city now has dangerous ridges that make a mono-tracked vehicle unstable, not a problem according to SCC, not in accordance with E.U. guidance. The H.A. are just as bad by allowing the longitudinal, not transverse as their own standard states, milling of the M27's concrete section between J5 and J7... Niel
  • Score: 0

9:59am Tue 15 Jan 13

bigfella777 says...

As a cyclist who rides on the inside 3rd of our roads, there may not be holes but there are some very big bumps and it is very uneven.Not what you want when traffic is a foot away from you.
As a cyclist who rides on the inside 3rd of our roads, there may not be holes but there are some very big bumps and it is very uneven.Not what you want when traffic is a foot away from you. bigfella777
  • Score: 0

10:27am Tue 15 Jan 13

CARBONtm says...

How many potholes do you see on motorways? None to not many I'll wager, and the reason for this is that they use a diferent surface. So the question is, why don't they use the same stuff on normal roads?

The answer is that the council needs to keep its budget high to justify government funding and the extra expence (to the tax payer) of maintaining sub-standard road surfaces helps to do this.

Incidentally, I pay quite a lot for my road fund tax (£270 pa) and it annoys me that less than 4% actually gets spent on the roads.
How many potholes do you see on motorways? None to not many I'll wager, and the reason for this is that they use a diferent surface. So the question is, why don't they use the same stuff on normal roads? The answer is that the council needs to keep its budget high to justify government funding and the extra expence (to the tax payer) of maintaining sub-standard road surfaces helps to do this. Incidentally, I pay quite a lot for my road fund tax (£270 pa) and it annoys me that less than 4% actually gets spent on the roads. CARBONtm
  • Score: 0

10:52am Tue 15 Jan 13

Torchie1 says...

CARBONtm wrote:
How many potholes do you see on motorways? None to not many I'll wager, and the reason for this is that they use a diferent surface. So the question is, why don't they use the same stuff on normal roads?

The answer is that the council needs to keep its budget high to justify government funding and the extra expence (to the tax payer) of maintaining sub-standard road surfaces helps to do this.

Incidentally, I pay quite a lot for my road fund tax (£270 pa) and it annoys me that less than 4% actually gets spent on the roads.
The speed limit on any road is a factor in the level of maintenance it requires to achieve a particular standard. Councils listen with glee to those clamouring for reduced speed limits because this will translate to reduced expenditure. The Law of Unintended Consequences may apply here for bicycles but modern car tyres and suspension should be able to cope if speed limits are obeyed.
[quote][p][bold]CARBONtm[/bold] wrote: How many potholes do you see on motorways? None to not many I'll wager, and the reason for this is that they use a diferent surface. So the question is, why don't they use the same stuff on normal roads? The answer is that the council needs to keep its budget high to justify government funding and the extra expence (to the tax payer) of maintaining sub-standard road surfaces helps to do this. Incidentally, I pay quite a lot for my road fund tax (£270 pa) and it annoys me that less than 4% actually gets spent on the roads.[/p][/quote]The speed limit on any road is a factor in the level of maintenance it requires to achieve a particular standard. Councils listen with glee to those clamouring for reduced speed limits because this will translate to reduced expenditure. The Law of Unintended Consequences may apply here for bicycles but modern car tyres and suspension should be able to cope if speed limits are obeyed. Torchie1
  • Score: 0

11:37am Tue 15 Jan 13

Niel says...

Torchie1 wrote:
CARBONtm wrote:
How many potholes do you see on motorways? None to not many I'll wager, and the reason for this is that they use a diferent surface. So the question is, why don't they use the same stuff on normal roads?

The answer is that the council needs to keep its budget high to justify government funding and the extra expence (to the tax payer) of maintaining sub-standard road surfaces helps to do this.

Incidentally, I pay quite a lot for my road fund tax (£270 pa) and it annoys me that less than 4% actually gets spent on the roads.
The speed limit on any road is a factor in the level of maintenance it requires to achieve a particular standard. Councils listen with glee to those clamouring for reduced speed limits because this will translate to reduced expenditure. The Law of Unintended Consequences may apply here for bicycles but modern car tyres and suspension should be able to cope if speed limits are obeyed.
Modern suspension might cope, modern low profile tyre's and wheels however are much more vulnerable, even the radials on my motorcycle at 60 profile offer little protection for the rims when dealing with pothole edges well below the speed limit, cars on 40 and lower profiles regularly get damaged.

There are parts of Southampton where even a 4x4 has trouble, it's not helped by the roads being simply macadam coated dirt.
Sirdar Road has a layer of less than 50mm of surfacing on dirt, and that's quite good. Salisbury Road in Highfield had to be rebuilt with geo-textiles and stabilising layers because of the air-suspension bus traffic pounding it to rubble. Very few of the Cities roads are of 'modern' stabilised construction, add in the effects of utilities cutting trenches that later subside and it's a recipe for disaster!
[quote][p][bold]Torchie1[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]CARBONtm[/bold] wrote: How many potholes do you see on motorways? None to not many I'll wager, and the reason for this is that they use a diferent surface. So the question is, why don't they use the same stuff on normal roads? The answer is that the council needs to keep its budget high to justify government funding and the extra expence (to the tax payer) of maintaining sub-standard road surfaces helps to do this. Incidentally, I pay quite a lot for my road fund tax (£270 pa) and it annoys me that less than 4% actually gets spent on the roads.[/p][/quote]The speed limit on any road is a factor in the level of maintenance it requires to achieve a particular standard. Councils listen with glee to those clamouring for reduced speed limits because this will translate to reduced expenditure. The Law of Unintended Consequences may apply here for bicycles but modern car tyres and suspension should be able to cope if speed limits are obeyed.[/p][/quote]Modern suspension might cope, modern low profile tyre's and wheels however are much more vulnerable, even the radials on my motorcycle at 60 profile offer little protection for the rims when dealing with pothole edges well below the speed limit, cars on 40 and lower profiles regularly get damaged. There are parts of Southampton where even a 4x4 has trouble, it's not helped by the roads being simply macadam coated dirt. Sirdar Road has a layer of less than 50mm of surfacing on dirt, and that's quite good. Salisbury Road in Highfield had to be rebuilt with geo-textiles and stabilising layers because of the air-suspension bus traffic pounding it to rubble. Very few of the Cities roads are of 'modern' stabilised construction, add in the effects of utilities cutting trenches that later subside and it's a recipe for disaster! Niel
  • Score: 0

11:50am Tue 15 Jan 13

Ginger_cyclist says...

You do know that the road fund doesn't exist anymore don't you? What you actually pay on your car is VED, VED gets put into a pot with every other tax, therefore EVERYONE pays for the roads through local and general taxation, even the unemployed do each time they buy stuff in the shops through VAT.
You do know that the road fund doesn't exist anymore don't you? What you actually pay on your car is VED, VED gets put into a pot with every other tax, therefore EVERYONE pays for the roads through local and general taxation, even the unemployed do each time they buy stuff in the shops through VAT. Ginger_cyclist
  • Score: 0

11:50am Tue 15 Jan 13

Ginger_cyclist says...

Ginger_cyclist wrote:
You do know that the road fund doesn't exist anymore don't you? What you actually pay on your car is VED, VED gets put into a pot with every other tax, therefore EVERYONE pays for the roads through local and general taxation, even the unemployed do each time they buy stuff in the shops through VAT.
That was meant for CARBONtm.
[quote][p][bold]Ginger_cyclist[/bold] wrote: You do know that the road fund doesn't exist anymore don't you? What you actually pay on your car is VED, VED gets put into a pot with every other tax, therefore EVERYONE pays for the roads through local and general taxation, even the unemployed do each time they buy stuff in the shops through VAT.[/p][/quote]That was meant for CARBONtm. Ginger_cyclist
  • Score: 0

4:04pm Tue 15 Jan 13

Torchie1 says...

Ginger_cyclist wrote:
Ginger_cyclist wrote:
You do know that the road fund doesn't exist anymore don't you? What you actually pay on your car is VED, VED gets put into a pot with every other tax, therefore EVERYONE pays for the roads through local and general taxation, even the unemployed do each time they buy stuff in the shops through VAT.
That was meant for CARBONtm.
I think people take it turns to mention it because they know you'll always bite, and today is no different!
[quote][p][bold]Ginger_cyclist[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Ginger_cyclist[/bold] wrote: You do know that the road fund doesn't exist anymore don't you? What you actually pay on your car is VED, VED gets put into a pot with every other tax, therefore EVERYONE pays for the roads through local and general taxation, even the unemployed do each time they buy stuff in the shops through VAT.[/p][/quote]That was meant for CARBONtm.[/p][/quote]I think people take it turns to mention it because they know you'll always bite, and today is no different! Torchie1
  • Score: 0

5:01pm Tue 15 Jan 13

Ginger_cyclist says...

Torchie1 wrote:
Ginger_cyclist wrote:
Ginger_cyclist wrote:
You do know that the road fund doesn't exist anymore don't you? What you actually pay on your car is VED, VED gets put into a pot with every other tax, therefore EVERYONE pays for the roads through local and general taxation, even the unemployed do each time they buy stuff in the shops through VAT.
That was meant for CARBONtm.
I think people take it turns to mention it because they know you'll always bite, and today is no different!
So? It's high time that the false use of the terms "road tax" and "road fund licence" is stopped because it makes some drivers feel that they own the road, even if they're proven wrong.
[quote][p][bold]Torchie1[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Ginger_cyclist[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Ginger_cyclist[/bold] wrote: You do know that the road fund doesn't exist anymore don't you? What you actually pay on your car is VED, VED gets put into a pot with every other tax, therefore EVERYONE pays for the roads through local and general taxation, even the unemployed do each time they buy stuff in the shops through VAT.[/p][/quote]That was meant for CARBONtm.[/p][/quote]I think people take it turns to mention it because they know you'll always bite, and today is no different![/p][/quote]So? It's high time that the false use of the terms "road tax" and "road fund licence" is stopped because it makes some drivers feel that they own the road, even if they're proven wrong. Ginger_cyclist
  • Score: 0

5:17pm Tue 15 Jan 13

Niel says...

Ginger_cyclist wrote:
Torchie1 wrote:
Ginger_cyclist wrote:
Ginger_cyclist wrote:
You do know that the road fund doesn't exist anymore don't you? What you actually pay on your car is VED, VED gets put into a pot with every other tax, therefore EVERYONE pays for the roads through local and general taxation, even the unemployed do each time they buy stuff in the shops through VAT.
That was meant for CARBONtm.
I think people take it turns to mention it because they know you'll always bite, and today is no different!
So? It's high time that the false use of the terms "road tax" and "road fund licence" is stopped because it makes some drivers feel that they own the road, even if they're proven wrong.
True, still with the cyclista's complaining about about a serious query's, in the negative, and getting them removed by the Echo team from another comments items over the last few months, one would have to surmise that a cyclists demise, can never be a cyclists fault.
As all too often they believe they own the roads.
My experience of racers on public highways 'jumping off' into the path of on coming traffic, so the peloton cannot safely pursue, is from the bitter experience of picking up the piece's, after the fact.
[quote][p][bold]Ginger_cyclist[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Torchie1[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Ginger_cyclist[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Ginger_cyclist[/bold] wrote: You do know that the road fund doesn't exist anymore don't you? What you actually pay on your car is VED, VED gets put into a pot with every other tax, therefore EVERYONE pays for the roads through local and general taxation, even the unemployed do each time they buy stuff in the shops through VAT.[/p][/quote]That was meant for CARBONtm.[/p][/quote]I think people take it turns to mention it because they know you'll always bite, and today is no different![/p][/quote]So? It's high time that the false use of the terms "road tax" and "road fund licence" is stopped because it makes some drivers feel that they own the road, even if they're proven wrong.[/p][/quote]True, still with the cyclista's complaining about about a serious query's, in the negative, and getting them removed by the Echo team from another comments items over the last few months, one would have to surmise that a cyclists demise, can never be a cyclists fault. As all too often they believe they own the roads. My experience of racers on public highways 'jumping off' into the path of on coming traffic, so the peloton cannot safely pursue, is from the bitter experience of picking up the piece's, after the fact. Niel
  • Score: 0

9:52pm Tue 15 Jan 13

Ginger_cyclist says...

Niel wrote:
Ginger_cyclist wrote:
Torchie1 wrote:
Ginger_cyclist wrote:
Ginger_cyclist wrote:
You do know that the road fund doesn't exist anymore don't you? What you actually pay on your car is VED, VED gets put into a pot with every other tax, therefore EVERYONE pays for the roads through local and general taxation, even the unemployed do each time they buy stuff in the shops through VAT.
That was meant for CARBONtm.
I think people take it turns to mention it because they know you'll always bite, and today is no different!
So? It's high time that the false use of the terms "road tax" and "road fund licence" is stopped because it makes some drivers feel that they own the road, even if they're proven wrong.
True, still with the cyclista's complaining about about a serious query's, in the negative, and getting them removed by the Echo team from another comments items over the last few months, one would have to surmise that a cyclists demise, can never be a cyclists fault.
As all too often they believe they own the roads.
My experience of racers on public highways 'jumping off' into the path of on coming traffic, so the peloton cannot safely pursue, is from the bitter experience of picking up the piece's, after the fact.
9 times out of 10 the cyclist isn't at fault, it normally down to dangerous driving or a combination of poor road conditions and dangerous driving or rider/driver error, yes, there are some reckless riders out there, I saw 2 today, one of them I shouted at for jumping a red but to no avail as they had headphones on, too bad my cameras memory card was full too or he would have been on youtube, also had a crazy close pass from another 2wheeler but with a large engine between their legs, then I also saw car drivers giving it all that with their horns towards other drivers who were well ahead of them and going round illegally parked cars, surprisingly some of the best driving I saw was from van drivers.
[quote][p][bold]Niel[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Ginger_cyclist[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Torchie1[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Ginger_cyclist[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Ginger_cyclist[/bold] wrote: You do know that the road fund doesn't exist anymore don't you? What you actually pay on your car is VED, VED gets put into a pot with every other tax, therefore EVERYONE pays for the roads through local and general taxation, even the unemployed do each time they buy stuff in the shops through VAT.[/p][/quote]That was meant for CARBONtm.[/p][/quote]I think people take it turns to mention it because they know you'll always bite, and today is no different![/p][/quote]So? It's high time that the false use of the terms "road tax" and "road fund licence" is stopped because it makes some drivers feel that they own the road, even if they're proven wrong.[/p][/quote]True, still with the cyclista's complaining about about a serious query's, in the negative, and getting them removed by the Echo team from another comments items over the last few months, one would have to surmise that a cyclists demise, can never be a cyclists fault. As all too often they believe they own the roads. My experience of racers on public highways 'jumping off' into the path of on coming traffic, so the peloton cannot safely pursue, is from the bitter experience of picking up the piece's, after the fact.[/p][/quote]9 times out of 10 the cyclist isn't at fault, it normally down to dangerous driving or a combination of poor road conditions and dangerous driving or rider/driver error, yes, there are some reckless riders out there, I saw 2 today, one of them I shouted at for jumping a red but to no avail as they had headphones on, too bad my cameras memory card was full too or he would have been on youtube, also had a crazy close pass from another 2wheeler but with a large engine between their legs, then I also saw car drivers giving it all that with their horns towards other drivers who were well ahead of them and going round illegally parked cars, surprisingly some of the best driving I saw was from van drivers. Ginger_cyclist
  • Score: 0

12:36am Wed 16 Jan 13

Ginger_cyclist says...

I forgot to say, when they say the roads are better, it's complete bull, uneven surface at the bridge over the rail line at Northam/6 dials, sunken drains everywhere, uneven surface on above bar street, smoothest section of road in the city is the resurfaced parts of Kathleen road.
I forgot to say, when they say the roads are better, it's complete bull, uneven surface at the bridge over the rail line at Northam/6 dials, sunken drains everywhere, uneven surface on above bar street, smoothest section of road in the city is the resurfaced parts of Kathleen road. Ginger_cyclist
  • Score: 0

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